Thursday, October 23, 2008
I am going to be taking a short break and will not be posting for the next seven days.
My next entry will be on Saturday November 1st, please check back then, when I will return, refreshed and ready to pass on some winners !
I have left you with a couple of bets for this weekend in the posts immediately below.
Good Luck !
ROCHDALE - ALDERSHOT TOWN
This is another shocker from the scheduling committee ! Town played at Chesterfield on Wednesday night and not only suffered a right old thumping in a 5-1 defeat, but also,several hours on the motorway and a very late return to the south-east. Now , they have to return up north to face a Rochdale side that not only put six past Chester, but have not had to move one mile from home all week and, have had an extra day's recovery time to boot ! I already sung Dale's praises before the Chester game and highlighted the number of chances they were creating, only one way we can go ,with this being a bit of a no brainer !
6.5 points Rochdale -1/2 ball 1.90 asian line..... there is a little 2.0 around if you are quick !!
TRANMERE ROVERS - CREWE ALEXANDRA
Crewe were very unfortunate at Yeovil in midweek, they came back from 2-0 down to draw level and were the only team that looked like winning, before allowing the home side a sloppy winner. They were a little sluggish early on and probably paid the price for not being adventurous enough. I do not think that they will make the same mistake again and expect them to take every opportunity to get forward. That has normally been the case with these two, who's last ten starts have averaged 3.4 and 3.7 goals per game, respectively. Crewe are unlikely to keep a clean sheet in any case, having conceded 12 times already this month and with this, the third start in six days for both teams, we could have some very tired players on the pitch late in the game, with play getting stretched. These two met very recently in the JPT which ended 1-0, but the scoreline does not really tell the full story and there were a lot of chances at both ends. "Over" for me.
5.5 points "over" 2.75 goals 1.94 asian line.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
OM have impressed me this season, mainly by their willingness to attack teams, even on the road and this is a tactic that should serve them well at PSV, who have looked below the level we expect of them and will struggle to defend their domestic title this season. OM boss Eric Gerets will be going "home", after spending ten years at PSV, he has done a great job at Marseilles, when he took over last year, they were in the drop zone, but he guided them to a third place finish and has built on that this season. OM have lost just four league starts in 2008 and are unbeaten this campaign.
Their more adventurous approach will serve them well in a fixture where only the winner will retain any hope of group progression and we can expect goals. Gerets has a fully fit squad at his disposal, plenty of competition for places and has pledged to go for the win. Several players out for the hosts, including key defender Jan Kromkamp.
5.5 points Marseille -1/4 ball 2.47 asian line.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
SWANSEA CITY - QPR
At the risk of repeating myself, I like Swansea and their very talented boss, Roberto Martinez and especially the slick passing style that they play. Unfortunately, most teams set out with a game plan to stifle that and refuse to allow Swansea to express themselves. Rangers have similar thoughts on how the game should be played and this should be one for the purist. Hosts are very difficult to beat at the Liberty Stadium, especially in night games, where it takes on a special atmosphere. Swans are in a rich vein of form and in their last three, have beaten Wolves easily, ended Preston's seven year unbeaten Tuesday night run and taken a point in a 2-2 draw at Ipswich, where they dominated the game. Two good teams, but I will take the Swans, who to my mind, have a little more steel in them, I am still not entirely convinced about Rangers ability to battle, when things go against them.
5 points Swansea -1/4 ball 2.01 asian line.
YEOVIL TOWN - CREWE ALEXANDRA
I wrote this about Yeovil at the weekend.... "are not a team you could back with any confidence, since Christmas they have performed very poorly and won only 5 of their 32 league starts. They are currently nine without a win and have conceded two or more, in their last seven matches".
They lost that game 3-0 at Northampton, are a team totally devoid of confidence and one we should be avoiding like the plague, until that changes. It is now eight matches in a row, that they have conceded at least two goals and I am confident that Crewe, who managed to put two past highflying MK Dons at the weekend, can do likewise.
6.5 points Crewe +1/4 ball 1.92 asian line.
STEAUA BUCHAREST - OLYMPIQUE LYON
The Romanian club teams have over performed in the Champions League so far, that has not been the case in the UEFA Cup or with the national team and I expect a "levelling off", in the coming rounds. Steaua have performed poorly domestically recently, where they are without a win in four, including a 2-0 defeat at Otelul, where the goalkeeper has been blamed for letting in two "strange" goals, in a match where there were odd betting movements. The supporters are not happy with the coach, the match was not sold out yesterday and when these met at the same stage in 2006, Lyon won 3-0 in Bucharest and this is considered a weaker home squad. Lyon might also not be quite the team they were, but in fairness, it is very difficult to keep your domestic motivation, when winning title after title. They are well prepared for this and arrived early on Monday in Romania, after two draws and with return matches against Fiorentina and Bayern still to come, they really need the win today.
6.5 points Lyon -1/4 ball 2.01 asian line.
ZENIT ST PETERSBURG - BATE
Quite how Zenit never found an equaliser in the second half of the Real Madrid game, remains one of life's great mysteries, they laid seige after the break and could/should have scored three or four. The UEFA Cup holders could easily have four points, but have none and now simply have to win both games against BATE to keep qualification hopes alive. They have scopred ten, yes that's right, ten, in the two league games since the Madrid fixture and although the win is all that matters, a few goals will not go amiss and I fully expect a big margin victory this evening.
6.5 points Zenit -1.75 goals 2.28 asian line.
Please check back.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
It is likely that I will post news of some kind on the blog over the weekend, but there will be no betting previews, which will be kept for subscribers only. So, if me "shooting the breeze" is not what you come to the site for and it probably isn't, you can save yourself the trouble of making any fruitless visits, but please, check back next week.
I made a fantastic half price "special offer"to those of you that contacted me in midweek and thank you for the response. As always, details of the daily newsletter can be found on the website www.predictuwin.com and you are welcome to ask any questions about the service, through the "contact us" tab on the site.
The weekend following an international break, is always eagerly awaited and I wish you all, good luck with your bets .
I spoke briefly on Tuesday about the poor penalty decision made at Notts County on Monday, which cost my beloved Bees the full three points, one Brentford supporter took the matter up with the Referee Manager and received a response and admission of error, which is reproduced below (from the Griffin park grapevine forum). Of course, this will not help us get a payout (!), or Brentford get the two points back, but at least it shows that the officials are looking to improve, will respond to criticism if made in a reasonable manner and also explain decisions.
Thank you for your e mail below concerning the decision made by Michael Oliver in the televised game last Monday. I know you say that you were not expecting a reply, but I hope you will accept that I do treat your constructive criticism seriously and have therefore agreed to respond myself. Michael was incorrect to award a penalty kick. Whilst the ball did strike the arm of the Brentford player, the distance and the speed of the cross meant that this could not be deemed ‘ deliberate’. As Referee manager, I have a group of coaches with whom I work closely. I can tell you that Michael’s coach has been analysing the incident with him and he now accepts that this was very harsh at best, and incorrect in Law. He is a young Referee (22 yrs) who is a great prospect, but he will learn from this error. I know that does not help your team at the moment, but football is a human game where players as well as referees make errors (players usually more, but not too many of them apologise when they miss a penalty or an open goal). However, the referees live with the fact that their errors are seldom forgiven. I will be working with Michael, through his coach, in the coming weeks to revisit his interpretation of handball. Thank you for the constructive manner in which you have pursued this and please keep enjoying your football. Very best wishes, Dave Allison (Referee Manager for PGMOL)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
DC UNITED - NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
These are two of the biggest clubs in US football, but have only won two games each from their last ten starts. Both have suffered from an horrendous schedule and been involved in far too many competitions and have clocked up way too many air miles !
However, New England have already booked a post season spot and although they are still looking to secure home field advantage in the semi- final game, their need is not as great as United's. The home side are in a must-win situation, two points out of the final wild card with two games to play and with four teams ahead of them. After tonight they travel to Columbus and are pretty much drinking in the last chance saloon. We can forget the line up, their season is on the line and they have to find a win, they have tightened up defensively in recent starts and need to find a goal from somewhere...... anywhere !4.5 points DC United -1/2 ball 2.17 asian line.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
If any of you want to join the email service and receive the newsletter on a daily basis, directly to your inbox each and every morning. Send me an email via the "contact us" button on the website... here is a link and I will make you a very special and exclusive offer, but please, no timewasters !
WORLD CUP QUALIFICATION
AUSTRIA - SERBIA
Austria are the most frustrating of nations, after opening their campaign with a 3-1 home win over a disappointing French team, which ignited hopes of qualification. They then went on to collect just a single point from away starts against Lithuania and the Faroe Islands. Serbia have a very talented squad on paper and are traditionally strong defensively, recently they have thrown off the shackles and adopted a more attacking approach, under coach Radomir Antic, impressing in a big win over Lithuania. Where Jovanovic and Stankovic, back in his favoured position, both put in eye catching performances.
They are likely to start with the following line up: Stojkovic(Sporting Lisbon) - Ivanovic(Chelsea), Vidic(Manchester United), Krstajic(Schalke 04), Obradovic(Partizan) - Krasic(CSKA Moscow), Stankovic(Inter Milan), Milijas(Red Star), Jovanovic(Standard Liege) - Zigic(Valencia), Lazovic(PSV Eindhoven).
The only change from the weekend being Krstajic in for Dragutinovic. Their only group loss came in a 2-1 defeat in Paris, where they took the game to the French early, despite losing Stankovic to injury after just five minutes and created a number of goalscoring chances. A similar positive approach this evening, could see them open up a five point lead over the French, at the top of Group 7.
5 points Serbia -1/4 ball 2.10 asian line.
BOSNIA- HERZEGOVINA - ARMENIA
Hosts have plenty of attacking options and put seven past Estonia in their last home start. They also led 1-0 away to Turkey at the weekend, before conceding two second half goals and losing narrowly. Armenia have yet to collect a point , or even to score a goal in their three starts, but have started with a difficult run of fixtures and are not as bad as their bare results might suggest. I certainly feel that they might have some joy against a severely weakened home defence, that was already giving cause for concern, before losing both central defenders. The Bosnian FA, who are always accused locally, of having another agenda, have made some very strange and inexperienced call ups as replacements and I believe that this back line will struggle to keep a clean sheet. Therefore, I am taking the "over", I have seen in a few places, odds against for the visitors to score, it is, at the moment, not freely available enough for me to put up as a selection, but that is also a viable option.
6 points "over" 2.5 goals 1.93 asian line.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I did promise to post something on the blog today, so will put up both of my email selections , but all the value has long since gone. The Spain bet has been backed in from 1.81 to 1.65 and the "over" on the England game has not only come in a full 1/4 ball , but is also at lower odds !!!! Win or lose, subscribers are already ahead of the game.
UEFA U21 CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATION
ENGLAND - WALES
England hold a 3-2 lead from the first leg, are sitting on a 26 match unbeaten run and should have far too much for this very young welsh team. In the match at the weekend, England started with 11 premiership players, at least eight of whom could be termed starters in one of the two toughest leagues in the world. Most are very experienced at this level, James Milner for example, has an incredible 39 U21 caps. To put all this into perspective, although showing promise, only three of the entire Wales squad, are even affiliated to Premiership clubs and even those,barely have a start between them.
The match is being played at Villa Park, so home ground for Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor. Wales will not be able to sit back for too long and have been very adventurous recently, with six of their last seven starts being "over", on the road, they have really "gone for it", scoring nine in their last three, including three times in an impressive "must win " game in Romania. The match is likely to get very stretched as it progresses and I think that we will see goals again this evening.
6 points "over" 2.75 goals 1.84 asian line.... now 3 goals 1.73 !!!!!
SPAIN - SWITZERLAND
Shock result in the first leg, when an impressive come from behind win by the Swiss, enabled them to win 2-1. It was even more noteworthy as they were without Almen Abdi, Blerim Dzemaili, Jonas Elmer, Julian Esteban, Claudio Lustenberger and Kay Voser, as they will be again this evening in Murcia. Many consider Spain the best team in Europe in this age group and in the group stage, they had a 100% record, winning all eight starts, with a 14-0 goal difference in the home games. Obviously they have classy individuals and replacements in every position on the pitch and it would be a major surprise if they failed to qualify. As you might expect, the Swiss have been stronger on home soil and suffered group road defeats in Norway and Macedonia. They did manage to qualify ahead of the Netherlands, but the defending champions have clearly gone backwards and paid the price for a far too negative approach in qualification. Huge gulf in class and I expect Spain to turn things a round and certainly take greater advantage of the huge number of chances they are creating.
6.5 points Spain -1.25 ball 1.81 asian line. NOW 1.65
I have only previewed two matches on the email today, but will probably post one of them on the blog later in the day, so please check back .
Monday, October 13, 2008
ENGLAND DIVISION 2
NOTTS COUNTY - BRENTFORD FC
Brentford on live tv, that is too much excitement for a Monday evening ! Let me start by saying that the Bees do not have the greatest record in front of the television cameras, but they are extremely motivated to get the three points, that would take them into a giddy second place in the table. Boss Andy Scott has got his team very well organised and at times, they are playing a slick passing style, which is as good as you will see in Division 2, they are very tough to break down and have conceded just twice in eight and a half games, or 763 minutes of football. They have a lot of strength at the back, with keeper Ben Hamer, on a season long loan from Reading and Wilson and Bennett, all earning plaudits from Bees fans on almost a weekly basis. They finally have a settled pairing up front,with Elder and MacDonald scooping up recent MOTM awards between them.
My idea of the likely Bees line up :
Halls Wilson Bennett Wood
Newton Bean Wright Poole
County have had a strange season so far, losing their opener, then drawing six in a row, before winning their last two. They have struggled to keep a cleansheet, only managing to keep Darlington at bay. I could argue that they have been a little fortunate recently, as in two of their last three starts, they have needed 94th minute goals, to earn them a point and a win respectively. Actually, in their last eight starts, they have xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxx ! These are amazing stats and we have to look at an "in running " trade, to try and take advantage of them.
I do not think that Brentford will lose and make them my selection with the level ball option. Also going to suggest that you xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx with an obvious chance of collecting, at what should be huge odds. Last year's fixture here ended 1-1 with County xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx !
6 points Brentford level ball asian line 2.10 .
3.5 points XXXX XXXXXX......... all the asian companies will offer this and it will also be available on the exchanges.
I have had to censor some of this post, as those parts are for subscribers only. If you wish to receive the email in full and have it delivered daily to your inbox, full details of the newsletter service can be found on the website www.predictuwin.com.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Following the reaction of the english media to the national football team's 5-1 win over Khazakhstan, you would be excused for thinking that England had lost, it is plain crazy!
Yes, they were lack lustre in the first half, but there are no easy games in international football nowadays and eventually they scored five ! No other country, playing in the European qualifiers managed more than three goals and the days when the so called minnows, went like lambs to the slaughter, have well and truly gone. The national press and television/ radio are little better, seem to want England to fail, obviously feeling it makes better "copy", personally, I am getting sick of it, let's keep things in perspective.
I have previewed six sporting events today on the email, four football matches and also took a look at the NFL, plus the USPGA tour event in Texas. At the moment, I intend to post a couple of these on the blog, but am a little short of time today and cannot promise to do so.
Good Luck with your bets today .
Saturday, October 11, 2008
When these two met in Euro2008 , I was firmly with Romania and the bet was landed as they played out a bore draw, in what many considered the poorest game at the tournament. I think that we will see a more open encounter today, both opened with terrible results, Romania suffered a humiliating 3-0 home defeat to Lithuania and France a 3-1 loss in Austria.
Hosts then went on to record a laboured 1-0 win over the Faroe Islands and all is clearly not right with them. Chivu and Mutu are in the team today, but the last named has yet to hit form this season, or to repay the £13m or so he owes Chelsea, which might be on his mind ! Half of the remaining starting line up is missing and the locals are very unhappy with the players called up as replacements, it is almost universally agreed that the coach has made some very strange choices. I was a fan of Romania in the summer, but want to avoid them at present and will take the French to get their campaign back on track.
Likely French starting eleven : Mandanda; Sagna, Clichy, Abidal, Boumsong; Vieira, Toulalan; Ribéry, Gourcuff, Malouda; Henry
5.5 points France -1/4 ball 2.04 asian line.
ACCRINGTON STANLEY - BRADFORD CITY
I do have some admiration for Stanley, their crowds are poor, but they are well run under the circumstances and always press for the win at home, where they draw very few matches. Since returning to the league, they are 8-2-17 at home, regardless of whether they are one or two goals ahead, they will push forward, giving any visiting teams a chance. The other advantage for the away side, especially one as well supported as Bradford, is that they can often have the bulk of the crowd, I would be amazed if less than 60% of the fans in attendance today were not following the visitors.
Stanley have lost 5 from 6 starts and only a last minute goal earned them a point in the sixth. Both are missing players today, but Bradford have huge resources at their disposal and a better quality squad by far. They have goals in them, only free scoring Shrewbury and Dagenham have registered more and a repeat of last years 2-0 win here, is my selection. Given the lack of draws at Accrington, I did consider the straight away win, but the odds were only a little bigger than the asian line and decided to take the added insurance of the quarter ball.
6.5 points Bradford -1/4 ball 1.82 asian line.
CHELTENHAM TOWN - COLCHESTER UNITED
Martin "mad dog" Allen has got his Cheltenham side playing with some fire in their bellies and their only defeat in the four starts since he took charge, came away to high flying Millwall. They have scored 7 goals in that run and in Owusu, Hayles and on loan Stuart Fleetwood, have three strikers who at least know where the goal is. The last named is still looking to establish himself as a league marksman, after taking the BSP by storm last year, with 28 goals in 41 games an incredible strike rate. Allen is an old hand at these relegation battles, which Town are already in and knows that home form is key, especially when facing a fellow struggler. United are in freefall at present and have lost 4 from 5, failing to score in all of those losses. I discussed recently how few chances they are creating, just 27 attempts on target all season, which is about half of the number that Town have managed. Visitors are still looking for a new coach, are without three key players today and they are not a team to be backing at present.
6.5 points Cheltenham level ball 2.07 asian line.
I will post 2-3 of these on the blog later in the day, so please check back.
Friday, October 10, 2008
LINCOLN CITY - ROCHDALE
City are a side that we discussed in detail in the pre season preview and although it has taken time, they have been very badly hit by injury, they appear to be finally getting things together. Their only loss in six has come at highflying Bury and they were very impressive in a 2-0 win at Chester last weekend, where they dominated for almost the entire game. Their opponents were on a six match unbetaen run before that game, which included fixtures against Bury and Shrewsbury, possibly, apart from Brentford (!), the two best teams in Division 2. The influential Stefan Oakes is set to return to the home squad tonight, but it is a sign of how far they have come recently, that he is likely to start on the bench. Dale are a good team and will challenge for a playoff spot, but they are below their peak at present and played a tough midweek fixture, whilst City only had this to prepare for, on a short week ( this is Rochdale's third start in under 6 days), it could prove key. H2h wise, The Imps have had the upper hand at their Sincil Bank home, being unbeaten in eight meetings and winning the last two, including 7-1 two seasons ago.
6 points Lincoln -1/4 ball 2.21 asian line.
NORTHAMPTON TOWN - HARTLEPOOL UNITED
I rate both these two teams better than the league table suggests and they have certainly been involved in some high scoring matches recently. However, defensively Pool are incapable of keeping a clean sheet, have conceded three times in 3 of their last 4 starts and lost the last three on the road. Until they tighten up at the back, they are not a team I will be backing. I like Town boss Stuart Gray, he has been given time by the Northampton board and I am sure that they will be rewarded, he is tactically astute and has been tinkering with his formation in training this week, to combat the visitors 4-3-3 formation, which is not a line up you see too often in Division 1. Town have scored at least two goals in their last four starts, have a striker on fire in Akinfenwa, who has three in the last two and seven all season. They pose a real threat from set pieces, which Pool have struggled to defend at times and are coming off a very convincing win at Crewe last week, where the y had 17 attempts on goal. Home win.
6 points Northampton -1/4 ball 1.93 asian line.Good Luck.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
ADELAIDE UNITED - BUNYODKOR TASHKENT
I have watched both teams recently and been impressed with each. However, IMO there is absolutely no doubt that the visitors from Uzbekistan are by far the better and classier outfit.
They have money , lots of it and as we know, in the modern game, money talks. This is the side that tried to sign Eto'o from Barcelona and if that sounds far fetched, a quick look at the squad will tell you that they have a couple of big names there already. Zico is the coach and he has two countrymen in the side, Luizao and Rivaldo, yes, that Rivaldo, on a $14m two year contract. I am pleased to say that he has not just gone for an easy top up to his pension plan and he has worked really hard and looked what he remains, a class above anyone else in Asia. I have also been impressed by another South American, Chilean international, José Luis Villanueva Ahumada. The bonus with Rivaldo is that he receives so much attention from opposing players, that it frees a lot of space for the rest of the team. He, or they should certainly get plenty of space today, especially through the centre, where Adelaide are missing key central defender Sasa Ognenovski. Kashima Antlers coach Oswaldo de Oliveira, is a friend of Zico and has supplied him with a lot of information about the home team, after his side lost to them, in two very close quarter finals. I watched the second game in Adelaide and the Australian team were fortunate to progress, in Bunyodkor, they are meeting a side with far greater goal threat and not just from you know who.
Adelaide blew a three goal lead at home over the weekend, they were "running on empty" in the second half and claimed that the recent gruelling schedule had left them very drained.
The only real concern I have is the huge distance travelled from Uzbekistan, but that is always a problem in this competition. I certainly do not see the visitors going home empty handed.
6.5 points Bunyodkor level ball 2.22 asian line.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
JOHNSTONE'S PAINT TROPHY
LUTON TOWN - BRENTFORD
Bees are on a roll, are up to 4th spot in the table and at times, have been playing some very nice football. They are close to having a decent team and are playing with a lot of confidence, as befits a side which is unbeaten since the opening days of the season and which has conceded only two goals in eight starts. They will rotate the squad tonight, but with no match until next Monday, when the mighty Bees are live on television(!), I expect them to want to keep the momentum going and go for the win. Town are struggling to put a team out this evening, with, I understand, only 13 first team squad players available and that is if they get permission for two loanees to play, they claim that motivation for the competition is low and given the team news and their dire league situation, that is probably true.
6 points Brentford +1/4 ball 1.80 asian line.
HEREFORD UNITED - SWINDON TOWN
Extra day recovery time for Town, who are taking this seriously and will most likely be unchanged from the side which drew 3-3 at Hartlepool on Friday night. They have put in some decent performances on the road, also drawing at in form Stockport in their previous away start and here in the league one month ago, in a match where they were the better team and created far more chances. Goals are a real problem for Hereford, they have not scored in three from four and are five without a win. Propping up the rest of Division 1 and facing a trip to highflying Oldham at the weekend, they would be better off concentrating on their dire league position. Town have seen the big money that some of their local rivals have made from this competition in recent years and are certainly "up" for the game.6 points Swindon level ball 1.96 asian line.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Very briefly, the Colts season is on the line today, in what is the winless Texans first home start of the season. Having gone 7-0 in the last three seasons, to be facing 1-3 is a real wake up call for Indianapolis.
Despite playing poorly in their last start, it took a 51 yard field goal, with four seconds remaining to finish off Peyton Manning's troops and that is about as poorly as they can play. Especially defensively, where, without Bob Sanders, they were unable to stop the run. They are coming off a bye week, so, have had to live with the disappointment for a fortnight, champions do not like that !Colts have a much tougher set of fixtures coming up next and this is pretty much a season defining game. They have won 12 from 13 over Houston and I am confident that they will add to that today and cover this reasonable looking handicap.
6 points Indianapolis Colts -3 points 1.83 Vegas Line.
HEERENVEEN - AJAX AMSTERDAM
Heerenveen are a joy to watch, they know only one way to play and that is to go forward. Forget the score, if they have six they want seven. However, today they meet their nemesis, as this approach suits Ajax fantastically well, the Amsterdam giants have won the last six meetings with a 20-6 goal difference, five produced four or more goals. The visitors will be looking for the three points as they will not wish to fall any further behind the front runners and a title challenge, at the very least, is what they simply have to muster this season. They have a third choice keeper today and are missing a handful of players, but that is not as bad as it reads, they have options and most would not have started in any case. Clubs in Holland tend to be over protective of players and if they sneeze, they are rested ! I am confident that this will be over and would suggest a huge bet on Ajax if there were no problems, still going to back them, but for reduced stakes.
5 points Ajax -1/4 ball 2.05 asian line.
5 points "over " 3.5 goals 2.19 asian line.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Just a few basic notes about three matches today ......
SWANSEA CITY- WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS
Something of a return to reality for Wolves, when they were thumped 3-0 at home to Reading in midweek, at the same time Swansea were ending Preston's 32 match unbeaten home run on a Tuesday night at Deepdale. The visitors have an injury crisis and inform striker Chris Iwelumo and both wingers are out, along with several others, there was very limited supply to the front men in the Reading game and despite getting Carlos Edwards on loan from Sunderland yesterday, it is hard to see the problem being any less acute today. Swansea are a very talented ball playing team, who can pass you to death at times, at level ball, I make them a strong bet.
6 points level ball 2.04 asian line.
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN - LEICESTER CITY
City did well for us in midweek, but they meet a far harder opponent than goal shy Colchester today. No Campbell, Dickov or Clemence for the visitors and to be honest, man for man, I do not think that there is a huge amount between the two sides. Town boss Stan Ternent has watched Leicester twice himself recently and is confident his team can get a result, in front of what looks almost certain to be a sold out Galpharm crowd. His team outplayed leaders Oldham for long periods of the game last week, with only an inspired goalkeeping display, keeping the home team in the game. I feel that they are beginning to live up to the pre season hype (most of which came from me !) and seem to raise their game against the bigger clubs. I will take a chance, at what look huge odds.
6 points Huddersfield level ball 2.19 asian line.
FRANCE LIGUE 1
Toulouse are another side we have discussed a bit recently, they are vastly improved from last season and have not lost since the opening day of the season. Since that defeat, they have only conceded three times in six league outings and a miserly defence is the cornerstone on which they build. As I said previously, the whole squad was improved over the summer and I am happy to bet them at home to an Auxerre side, who are slowly getting things together, but remain without Berthod, Chafni and Popov, especially only giving up a quarter ball. Hosts have won the last three meetings here, without conceding.
6.5 points Toulouse -1/4 ball 1.88 asian line.
Friday, October 03, 2008
AZ ALKMAAR- SPARTA ROTTERDAM
Finally, AZ appear to be coming good, after a year or so in the doldrums. They have had a fantastic couple of weeks, beating PSV and then putting five past Willem on the road and three against Heracles in the cup. It is no coincidence that this has happened at the same time that their treatment room has emptied, with only Schaars unavailable this evening. AZ regally entertained us a few years back, with some wonderful attacking football and a mountain of goals, Dutch football really needs them to return to something like that form.
Sparta have yet to win this season and have conceded nine goals in just four starts, actually they have ridden their luck at times and could be considered fortunate to have collected even two points. They have not been so lucky on the injury front and will be without several key players this evening. No doubt they will start with ten men behind the ball, but that has not helped them much in previous meetings, they have lost the last four in Alkmaar, three of them by three or more goals. Infact, in nine h2h games, they have scored in only one, losing the other eight. Very hard for me to see anything other than a comprehensive home win and AZ are my strongest bet of the day.
7 points AZ -1.5 goals 1.98 asian line.
John Juanda is the new WSOPE champion !
After 21.5 hours play, Stanislav Alekhin made a poor looking call on a draw, Juanda's pair of Kings held up and his Russian opponent, who claimed he only called because he was tired, was left chip dead, a few hands later it was all over !
John Juanda and Stanislav Alekhin are battling it out and are very close in chips, so no end in sight yet ! Since starting at 13.00 yesterday, I have had three meals, two showers, watched four football matches and slept for seven hours, they have played poker !
Thursday, October 02, 2008
STANDARD LIEGE - EVERTON
Liege have now played three matches against Liverpool and Everton this season and have yet to lose inside 90 minutes. They drew the first leg 2-2 and the temptation to sit back and hold on to what they have,might be too great, especially as they must do without injured Brazilian striker De Camargo. That could be fatal, Everton have performed better on the road all season and are now becoming experienced european campaigners. Liege are clearly a good team and the best that Belgium has to offer, but at level ball and odds against, I am happy to take the visitors, who have a couple of match winning performers in their team and are again motivated to do well in this competition.
5 points Everton level ball 2.18 asian line.
BENFICA - NAPOLI
I seem to be discussing these two on a very regular basis. Napoli won an entertaining first leg 3-2 and something similar this evening would not surprise me, I certainly expect that we will see a few goals. Having watched the Benfica defence twice recently, it would take a brave man to bet on them keeping a clean sheet against almost anyone, they are extremely error prone. My feeling is that Napoli would be better off out of the tournament and just concentrating on a top 4 finish in the league, which they are capable of obtaining. However, they are forgetting how to lose and probably want to keep the sequence going, so seem sure to give of their best. Plenty of attacking options for the hosts, "over" for me.
5 points "over 2.5 goals 2.16 asian line.
We now have our final table at the WSOPE and what an international line up it is, with two players each from UK, Russia and the US, plus one from Canada, Finland and last, but not least, Sweden.
Not only did Ivan Demidov become the first man in history to make the final table of both WSOP main events, but he also did it in the same year, I will not hold my breath for the next man, or woman, to complete that feat. If that was not enough, he currently lies second and third in each and with countryman Stanislav Alekhin, also with well over 1m in chips, Russia hold two of the top three spots.
Chip leader John Juanda was steamrolling over the field early evening and looked like he might have taken a huge lead into the final day, but all nine players are firmly in contention.
Each is guaranteed a minimum £81,450 and the winner will take home £868,800 and the coveted gold bracelet, not bad for five days work ! Few , if any of the remaining players would have got to bed before the early hours, which will mean a short night's sleep and I think experience of these tournaments and the physical and mental strain that they produce, will be key today.I am hoping that someone will come up with odds this morning, as I have a view on the winner, but there is not too much time as play is scheduled to start at 13.00 UK time.
Seat 1: Robin Keston 849,000
Seat 2: Daniel Negreanu 1,002,000
Seat 3: Chris Elliott 281,000
Seat 4: Bengt Sonnert 385,000
Seat 5: John Juanda 1,349,000
Seat 6: Ivan Demidov 1,006,000
Seat 7: Toni Hiltunen 386,000
Seat 8: Scott Fischman 732,000
Seat 9: Stanislav Alekhin 1,278,000
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
BORDEAUX - AS ROMA
Neither of these two have really been firing recently and both were left shell shocked by their opening group games, Bordeaux were comprehensively thumped 4-0 at Chelsea, a result which they have chosen to put down to bad nerves ! Roma lost at home to Cluj of Romania, that was a bad result and they played poorly, but many people are simply writing off Cluj and that is wrong, they are an improving team, with good players and a very rich owner. Having said that, Roma should never have lost.
Totti and Pizarro are both out for the visitors, but Roma's favourite son is always missing nowadays and it is no longer the major loss it once was, they have learned to win without him. I expect to see the real Roma side tonight, the CL final is being played in Rome and to not even make it out of the group stage in such a year, would be a disgrace, they have the double header with Chelsea up next, so have to get something from this. Hosts have not impressed, will have a second choice keeper, who has only played 9 times in five years, between the sticks and seem more interested in avoiding defeat, than trying to win, opting to flood the midfield.Vistors have never lost in seven visits to France and I am sure that will be eight after this evening's action.
5.5 points Roma level ball 1.89 asian line.
SHAKHTAR DONETSK - BARCELONA
Donetsk have a recent home win over Barce in the CL group stage, but that was in a match where the visitors had nothing to play for. With both sitting on three points at the top of the group this time round, we have very different circumstances. As discussed recently, Donetsk are growing ever stronger, they are likely to field a team with 5-6 Brazilians and a couple of (almost) world class europeans.
Barce are a great side, but are struggling to keep a clean sheet. Domestically, Shakhtar are finding it impossible to win with six draws fron nine starts, I think much of this has to do with giving the CL priority at present. A draw would not disappoint either too much, each having two far easier matches up next and at decent odds, that looks the best value.
4 points draw 3.85 exchanges.
Down to 18 in the WSOPE, just two tables remain and they will play down to a final table today, things have got very tight now that the big money is in sight and it could still develope into a very long day ! Chip counts aNd table/draw order:
Talal Shakerchi - 415,000
Justin Smith - 540,000
Bengt Sonnert - 610,000
Toni Hiltunen - 287,000
Daniel Negreanu - 450,000
Soren Kongsgaard - 256,000
Brandon Adams - 245,000
John Juanda - 1,110,000
Stanislav Alekhin - 510,000
Mike Matusow - 211,000
Philippe Rouas - 362,000
Ivan Demidov - 340,000
Chris Elliott - 300,000
Johnny Lodden - 415,000
Scott Fischman - 340,000
Peter Neff - 333,000
Robin Keston - 150,000
Brian Townsend - 215,000
I have previewed four matches on the email service today, three Champions league fixtures and a slightly less high profile game, where I have invested a massive 14 points !
Please check back later, when I will cover one or more of these selections on the blog.
WSOPE Main Event is taking place this week in London and from 362 entries, who all coughed up the £10,000 buy in, we are down to just 24 players and what an event this is turning into, with the cream continuing to rise to the top. Over half the remaining field could be considered big names in the poker world, the sponsors must be delighted and Vegas envious.
This tournament has it all, huge names in Juanda, Negreanu, Matusow and Seidel, known to even casual observers of the sport. The usual handful of Scandinavians, Russians (more about them later) , a couple of "old timers" (no names) and some internet superstars, including Justin "BoostedJ"Smith and Brian "sbrugby" Townsend, who has recently taken a frightful hammering at the online Omaha tables. Johnny Lodden is "back" after falling on very hard times, we have all been there and I wish him well !
All are guaranteed a £28,960 pay day, but that is small fry and most will only have eyes on the first prize of over £868k, even two double ups for the shortstacks will take them to "midtable", so no one is really out of this yet.
I have to finish with a word about Russian player Ivan Demidov, incredible he has already booked a place in the WSOP final table, taking place in Las Vegas in November, which guarantees him $900k, but second in chips there, he will have much bigger dreams. The 27 yo Moscovite obviously has the knack of playing these events and another final table looks on the cards and what a double that would be !
Juanda, John chips 657,500 table 2 seat 6
Negreanu, Daniel 653,000 1 2
Smith, Justin 624,500 1 4
Rouas, Phillippe 573,000 1 8
Lodden, Johnny 478,000 3 6
Townsend, Brian 424,500 3 8
Sonnert, Ben 346,500 1 9
Hiltunen, Toni 321,500 2 2
Kongsgaard, Soren 316,500 3 1
Demidov, Ivan 316,000 3 9
Bloch, Andy 301,000 2 8
Fischman, Scott 298,000 3 7
Bergius, Perttu 261,000 1 1
Judah, Mel 254,000 2 1
Shakerchi, Talal 225,000 1 3
Alekhin, Stanislav 215,000 1 5
Neff, Peter 213,500 2 7
Adams, Brandon 212,000 3 2
Elliott, Christopher 181,500 3 3
Matusow, Mike 147,500 1 6
Seidel, Eric 85,000 3 5
Torsvik, Kim-Andre 78,500 2 3
Keston, Robin 74,000 2 4
West, Tim 63,500 2 5